Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

My July 2014 BDJ Unboxing + Sentimental Reflections

In my 1.5-year blogging career (yes, been blogging since then) I've never read another person's review before I wrote my own. I don't want to be influenced by other people's opinions because I think mine are cool and I can't let my mind get lost under the wave of uncool opinions.

JK, I just really don't want to spoil the surprise, haha! And am quite a bit afraid of unintentional plagiarism.

But if I'm to be 1000% honest, there may be this irrational fear of unwittingly copying another's point of view. I can read "outside" after I've written my own; but I avoid other people's unboxing because I don't want to frame my perspective through their lenses. It sounds arrogant and very close-minded but I'm just trying to protect my originality. There are very few blogs right now that have an unfiltered, big-picture opinion on what sub boxes offer and what they want out of it. (Carina's led a wonderful discussion on box value here.)

Until I find the community has matured into a very analytical and straight-forward thinking like what Carina's shown, I'm not afraid to take a "thought-leadership" role alongside her and others. I'm not afraid to make crazy demands that other people are too afraid to put their hopes in, or to duly criticize where others may shut up in fear of losing sponsorships and offending brands.

Let's not mince words here; I'm very proud of whatever contribution I've had to the subscription box discussion. I don't claim ownership or any single-minded effort to whatever state the subscription box community is in now, but I'm very happy and secure with what I did and what I continue to do.

Whenever I read a thought from another netizen and find it familiar to my own, an arrogant, self-satisfied smirk forms in my mind. Some people are actually being framed by my opinion. They're looking at the factors I'm looking at, demanding the same things I'm asking for... basically judging these boxes the way I'm judging them. I don't imagine people are stalking my blog and taking down notes. I do believe that I've projected my voice loudly enough and eloquently enough to influence them. I mean, let's face it: unboxings of the past were just lame group shots with a catalogue of contents.

I may not have always known where to take this blog, whether to monetize it, use it to attempt to get with the "in crowd" or make it hilariously personal... But one thing's for sure: since day 1 I've always wanted to be a thought-influencer. I take a look at local boxes and unboxings right now and can't help but feel like I was listened to. It gives me a sense of fulfilment. Maybe I'm overreaching, and I'm not arrogant enough to think that the whole subscription box industry rose up because of me, but it feels great to have contributed.

july 2014 bdj box unboxing review
July 2014 BDJ Unboxing

Here's What's Inside (Sorted by Favorites):

Keratin Complex Travel Valet Care Kit, Php 495 / 2 x 78ml.

The card has this listed at 89ml, which could be full size but is more realistically a typo.

This month's fave is this Keratin travel set. It's a great size for trial and can be quite useful for trips. You're not supposed to OD your hair on Keratin though, as I heard it turns your hair brittle. I think this is formulated for everyday use though, and the sodium chloride-free formulation is great for chemically treated and colored hair.

Nivea Pure Effect Exfoliating Wipes, Php 139 / 20 wipes.

I shouldn't like this sample so much because it's for oily / impure skin, and heaven knows I am the purest lily petal to ever float down to earth (harhar.) Its exfoliating action could doubly kill my already dry skin, but what the heck. I'm so interested in this sample I'm not even going to pretend I care. I love wipes!

Nivea In Shower Skin Conditioner, Php 109 / 100ml, 10ml sample provided.

I feel like I'm on a roll of defending unusual choices, as I have this dinky sachet third on my list. As I've always said, I'm all about the adventurous side of subscription boxes and this in-shower skin conditioner is the only product whose label I bothered to read. Yes, it has all to do with me not even knowing what it is, but that's the whole point! So apparently, this is a sort of shower lotion. You apply it after soaping up, and rinse it off. It doesn't sound like a convenient addition to my routine so I'm kind of glad it's only a 10ml sachet.

Nivea Anti-Perspirant Invisible Spray, Php 184 / 150ml, 35ml sample provided.

I already got a full-size sample of this deo from Sample Room, but I'm still putting it up so high on the list because I did quite like it. You can't instantly wear your black shirt right after spraying this deo on, but I only have to wait around 2 minutes as opposed to my regular deo's 10.

Pink Sugar Fine Fragrance Mist in Tropical Sunset, Php 299 / 250ml.

I didn't start out much of a fragrance fan, but considering all the other boring choices this sounds just about right. It's a bit overpowering but it's a sweet enough fragrance that can easily cut through our crazy Metro Manila pollution (or my dad's crazily stinky poops.)

Vitress Heat Protect and Hair Repair, Php 65 / 30ml each.

I'm a Vitress fan and this ranking is based on utility rather than actual product excitement. This is a great hair serum that doesn't weigh down and easily works throughout each strand. I like it even more than the much more expensive L'oreal Elseve and Kerastase Oleo Relax.

Hygienix Hand Gel, Php 45 / 100ml.

Another utility choice over here. I'm not too happy getting a lot of utility options but I guess it's better to at least get my money's worth one supply at a time.

Hygienix Hand Spray, Php 40 / 55ml.

Yawn fest again. Thank god I regularly sanitize my hands, otherwise, this would be completely useless to me.

Other Stuff in Here:

Enchanted Eyeshadow Palette in Pixie Dust, Php 199 / 6g.

I received a pink-silver-purple trio of this same palette exactly one year ago, with the July 2013 Dove Special. I wasn't particularly happy with it, finding the powder very chalky and not pigmented enough. I don't think it's very wise to keep repeating samples especially those that weren't super good to begin with.

Celeteque Back Acne Spray, Php 320 / 50ml.

I feel so bad putting this in the "Other Stuff" category, i.e. something I'm not super excited about, because I'm a huge Celeteque fan. Truth is, I already have a sample also care of Sample Room. Consider as well that back acne isn't a huge problem of mine, and well...

Envie GC for diamond peel, RF or IPL

The GC is for our choice between diamond peel, RF or IPL. I'm just sticking with old habits by putting GCs last but this is actually a fantastic deal. You have two months to claim any option you like out of the three and I don't think I've ever seen something similar. Very nice!


Curation Card: BDJ July 2014

Box Value: Php 1687 , or almost 3x the Php 580 subscription fee

Full Value: Php 1740.83

Soooo... I'm following a new metric. Traditionally, I've considered only the value of full-size samples in my value computation because they're the only ones I... value. I talked to a friend, who is sort of a mentor, and she says there's a point to considering fractional values for samples. Considering that premium samples are often GWP and cost negligibly ONLY in the country they're produced, local offices take up a cost when shipping them in.

As of now, I've included even the sachets but I'm thinking of holding fractional values exclusive to deluxe-sized samples.

Enough with the technical notes! Okay I'm pretty so-so about this box. It's full of "grocery stuff" as Rae would call them. BDJ fulfilled their x3 sub fee promise but I'm left feeling like it's kind of forced. We have a repeat and a redundancy- let's not kid ourselves that the Vitress samples actually have a significant difference.

Though this box is as big as an Elite box, I feel quite disappointed by it. There's undeniable value that I've computed above, but I guess I was just looking for something more. I don't know what though, because they have great sample quality, there's sample variety and financially, you get way more than you paid for. I guess there's just something really blah about this box. My opinion is being somewhat redeemed by fresh discoveries (the shampoo kit and Nivea wipes) but I think otherwise I'd be very sleepy about this box.

You may visit BDJ Box at

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